Jul 222016
 

BLACK CROWN INITIATE-SELVES WE CANNOT FORGIVE

 

(Andy Synn reviews the new album by Black Crown Initiate from Reading, PA.)

Black Crown Initiate have been something of a favourite of mine (and, if I’m not speaking out of turn here, the majority of the NCS crew in general) for quite some time now and, as such, Selves We Cannot Forgive (released today on eOne), has been sat at the top of my “most anticipated” list for 2016 ever since it was first confirmed.

Thanks to my moonlighting for Terrorizer I’ve been lucky enough to have access to the album for quite a while now, which has allowed me the opportunity to really dig deep into its many layers, as the Pennsylvanian quintet have clearly gone to great lengths to push themselves and their music down an ever-proggier path on their second album.

But… and it’s a surprisingly big but (and I cannot lie)… despite all of its impressively progressive inclinations and some undeniably heroic highlights, it’s hard not to view Selves We Cannot Forgive as the band taking one step backwards for every move forwards they make. Continue reading »

Jun 172016
 

Mr. Trash Wheel-Baltimore

 

(DGR takes over round-up duties today, featuring commentary and a wide array of recent song, video, and album streams. This would have been posted much earlier in the week if our editor weren’t so lame.)

If you’ve been reading the site recently you’ve no doubt noticed that quite a few of us shirked work and decided instead to go out to Maryland for the Maryland Deathfest shindig that the internet likes to talk so much about. However, the internet doesn’t take time off like we do and quite a bit of stuff came out during that period that despite our best efforts slipped right by us.

On top of that, since we’ve been playing catch-up for the last two weeks, a veritable pile of new music landed on top of us as well. And so I find myself opening my great maw wide in order to capture as much of it as possible — as well as using this as an opportunity to share some stuff that flew right past us long before we had MDF as an excuse for being terrible people.

Contained in this here news roundup is a veritable smorgasboard of new music, some of which came to us by the bands themselves and other times was discovered whilst I was spinning in circles on the internet. Either way, there’s a ton of stuff what floated down the river here — only to be captured by my net/boat/if only there was some sort of metaphor or object I could compare my news capturing ability to… ah well, maybe next time. Let’s get on with it. Continue reading »

Mar 082016
 

Katatonia 2016

 

If you recall yesterday’s “Seen and Heard” round-up, I explained that I had fallen so far behind that I had a list of 30 new tracks from over the last week that I thought were worth exploring. And sure enough, the list has only grown, because so many other good new things popped up in the last 24 hours. So I’m starting with the four newest items and concluding with four from last week.

KATATONIA

Yesterday brought details about the next Katatonia album, as well as a very brief teaser video. This will be their tenth studio full-length, with the title of The Fall of Hearts. It’s set for a May 20 release by Peaceville Records. Here’s the artwork (by Travis Smith, of course): Continue reading »

Mar 312015
 

 

This year’s edition of the METAL ALLIANCE TOUR features an eye-catching line-up: Deicide, Entombed A.D., Hate Eternal, Black Crown Initiate, and Svart Crown. And earlier today Deicide leaked the initial round of dates on their Facebook page (and thank you Vonlughlio for tipping us to this news). As Deicide wrote when they posted the schedule, “it’s still being booked so don’t get your freak on cause ya don’t see your town, more to come!”

I’ll pretend I’m interested in what other cities will be visited, though the truth is that since Seattle is already on the list I can now tune out any further announcements.

Here’s the first round of dates and places on the schedule: Continue reading »

Dec 272014
 

 

Welcome to Part 4 of our list of 2014′s Most Infectious Extreme Metal Songs. For more details about what this list is all about and how it was compiled, read the introductory post via this link. For the other songs we’ve previously named to the list, go here. Today we add two more songs, from two rising stars in the firmament of metal, both of whom match technically impressive instrumental skill with songwriting prowess.

BLACK CROWN INITIATE

At the moment, I can’t remember a current band whose fortunes have risen so far, so fast, as Black Crown Initiate from Reading, PA. On the strength of one four-song EP — Song of the Crippled Bull (glowingly reviewed here by TheMadIsraeli) — they landed on a slew of high-profile, kickass tours, the first of which was headlined by Behemoth (I reviewed the Seattle stop of that mega-tour here). That EP also landed them a spot on the roster of eOne Music, which released the band’s debut album this year — The Wreckage of Stars.

The album proved beyond doubt that Song of the Crippled Bull was no fluke. As DGR wrote in our review of the album: Continue reading »

Nov 052014
 

In today’s posts we’ve thrown quite a lot of new music your way, but we’re still not quite done. There are a couple more songs I want to recommend that I discovered over the last 24 hours, plus some news items that perked my interest. We’ll start with those and then move to the songs.

THROUGH SPACE AND GRIND TOUR 2015

Through Space and Grind is the name of a 2015 North American tour whose roster is full of eye-catching names: Napalm Death, Voivod, Exhumed, Iron Reagan, and Black Crown Initiate. The tour begins on January 27 in Miami and runs through February 28 in Houston.

The following bands will also join the tour on selected dates:  Ringworm, Dayglo Abortions, Theories, and Phobia. Here’s the full schedule: Continue reading »

Sep 292014
 

 

(DGR wrote this review of the debut album by Black Crown Initiate from Pennsylvania, which will be released tomorrow — Sept 30.)

It feels like music moves in ten-plus-year generational cycles, especially when it comes to heavy metal. This seems stupidly obvious, but the fact that it still continues unabated is pretty spectacular — because it allows people to sit around and prognosticate like true intelligentsia when it comes to even the most banal of subjects. You’ll have discs that come out right about the time a new generation can pick up on it and have their minds blown. In turn, they draw heavy influence from that specific time frame, and when it becomes their own turn to take the stage, it’s like watching the previous cycle re-incarnate, combined with some of the current sounds that are popular. And so, the sound iterates, especially in the case of heavy metal, as things move incrementally in different directions.

The past few years. especially, have really put the various spectra of death metal into the spotlight as both tech-death and progressive death have seen numerous new entries from young bands, groups who over the past decade have taken in so much of what began in the early aughts and now seek to put their own mark on it. Reading, Pennsylvania’s own Black Crown Initiate are one of those bands who have seemingly had the stars align for them. They are a young band who succeeded in finding the almost perfect combination of songwriting talent, musicianship, and artistic bravery to stretch well beyond their own genre conventions and managed to make quite the loud entrance with last year’s EP Song Of The Crippled Bull. You could tell, especially by our own review, that if Song Of The Crippled Bull was anything to go by, Black Crown Initiate were going to have a lot of heat behind them.

And so, we find ourselves looking to the band’s label debut, The Wreckage Of Stars, and if you haven’t quite figured out where this introduction is heading yet, let’s summarize it for you: There is a reason you’ve probably been hearing a lot about Black Crown Initiate over the past year, and if Wreckage Of Stars is anything to go by, you’re going to be hearing a hell of a lot more of them in the years to come. Continue reading »

Aug 132014
 

 

Here’s Part 2 of today’s effort to catch up on news and new music I think are worth your attention. I had planned a third part, but that will have to wait until tomorrow (fucking day job).

ACCEPT

I’ve made no bones about my lukewarm reaction to much of what passes for “traditional” thrash — perhaps primarily because of the genre’s vocal style. But the new song (“Final Journey”) that NPR premiered today from Accept’s 14th album Blind Rage has knocked my socks off, not least because it includes a guitar melody lifted from Edvard Grieg’s “Morning Mood” as an unexpected accent near the song’s end.

But that’s only part of the attraction. The riffs and the solo are absolutely galvanizing, the melody is heart-pumping, and I actually like the vocals by Mark Tornillo as well. Check out the new lyric video next. The album can be ordered here from Nuclear Blast. Continue reading »

Jun 092014
 

Here are four startling new events that happened over the weekend.

DEATH GRIPS

Death Grips released the first half of a new album last night. As is their want, there was no advance notice, or at least none that I saw. The name is niggas on the moon. It’s 8 tracks long, it’s streaming in full on Soundcloud and YouTube, and it’s free to download. And all 8 songs feature Björk. Seriously.

The band’s announcement says this 8-song release is the first half of a double album, the name of which is the powers that b. They say it will be released later this year on Harvest/Third Worlds Records.

I haven’t started listening to the music as I write this on a Sunday night, so I’ll save any thoughts about it for a later update. Or maybe someone else around here will provide some thoughts. I’m expecting weirdness.

To download the music, click this link:

http://thirdworlds.net/files/niggas-on-the-moon.zip

Stream it below. Continue reading »

May 052014
 

Behemoth, Goatwhore, 1349, Inquisition, Black Crown Initiate, and Drawn and Quartered performed at Studio Seven in Seattle on Saturday night (May 3, 2014). It was one of my most eagerly anticipated shows of the year. But I had a sinking feeling about it before the concert began.

I paid extra to get advance VIP tickets for myself and some friends (for what turned out to be a sold-out show) because they promised a meet-and-greet and early admission. An e-mail from the ticket-seller notified us that we needed to be at the venue no later than 3:45 for the meet-and-greet, and even earlier than that to pick up the tickets at will-call. This provoked groans, given that the show wasn’t scheduled to begin until 6:00. Of course, this was a metal show, and the odds were high that nothing would actually happen at 3:45, but we didn’t want to risk missing what we’d paid extra for. So we were there at 3:30. And of course nothing happened until 4:15.

In the meantime, we got soaked when the drizzling rain outside the venue became a downpour. And while shaking ourselves like wet dogs in a doorway we speculated that since this was the last stop of the tour, the promoters might have been having trouble waking up any of the musicians for the meet-and-greet. This suspicion was strengthened when we were finally ushered inside, to find obviously fatigued representatives from all the touring bands sitting along a long row of shadow-shrouded tables in the dark venue, waiting one-by-one to sign tour posters we were given at the door. Continue reading »